The cast that was on Kyle Wyatt's left arm up until last week bore the usual assortment of signatures of classmates and relatives. But there, alongside the "John Hancocks" of his sister Brienna, classmates and friends, was the signature of President George W. Bush.
"George Bush" is what the president wrote on the rural Brainerd boy's cast but the famous signature has faded since the presidential signing on May 15 on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol.
Kyle and his family were in Washington, D.C., to attend ceremonies that honored his father and other law enforcement officers who died in 2004.
Thomas Wyatt, a Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension special agent, died March 3, 2004, in a traffic accident near McGregor. The agent was described by law enforcement colleagues at the time as an aggressive narcotics officer, a family man and a person of high integrity.
Kyle's mother, Chanttel, and his sister, Brienna, were with him in Washington, D.C. The president walked down a line and greeted the officers' relatives in a ceremony on the Capitol grounds when he noticed Kyle's cast and asked how he broke his arm. He also asked about Kyle's father.
Kyle told him he broke his arm when he fell off a fence. It was Kyle's second broken arm. He broke his right arm when he was 2.
The young man said the president seemed like a nice man.
"My mom said he smelled good," Kyle said.
While in Washington, D.C., the family also was able to tour the FBI Academy and the White House.
Even though the president's signature is not as clearly visible as it was when he first wrote it, the Wyatts plan to keep the cast and possibly find a shadow box where it can be kept for posterity.
MIKE O'ROURKE can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5860.
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